Lovers of comic books and pop culture descended on East Grand Forks Saturday afternoon to attend the annual ForXcon convention.
The event, which is in its sixth year, is a celebration of comics and popular culture in all media, including print, film, TV, art, games and toys.
ForXcon includes vendors selling a variety of items from comic books to games to works of art. Another aspect of the event is panels. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Batman, the convention held a special presentation about the character.
Event coordinator Tony Tilton also helps run ValleyCon in Fargo. Six years ago, he and a Grand Forks creator decided to create a convention in Grand Forks, and ForXcon was born.
"We've been growing small but steadily ever since," he said.
Several artist booths were featured at the convention, including Wingingit Studio, a duo from the Fargo/Moorhead area who travel to various conventions around the region sharing their digital artwork. This is the first year they have shown their work at ForXcon.
Brittney Berthiaume is a graphic designer who works with digital editing programs like Adobe Photoshop to create works of art out of shapes and vectors.
Heather Walker is an illustrator who uses also uses a digital program that mimics traditional art media to create pieces that take on the look of paintings.
The pair have been creating art for most of their lives and have known each other since middle school, but started Wingingit Studio around five years ago, Berthiaume said.
"We had the opportunity to work together and kind of combine our talents (so we started the studio)," Berthiaume said.
They sometimes combine their talents to create pieces together.
Berthiaume said their works often also reflect the fandoms they are into. For example, Walker enjoys Spiderman and Gwen Stacy, as well as classic video games. Berthiaume said she enjoys anime and cartoons, so her work often includes those aspects.
Despite doing their work digitally, the two can spend hours working on one specific piece, making sure to get every detail just right.
Tilton said his favorite part about conventions and ForXcon is the people he meets in the process. Earlier in the day Saturday, Tilton said he spoke to someone he had never met but the two quickly related to one another over their shared love of James Bond. Occurrences like that are common at conventions like ForXcon, he said.
"When you start talking to somebody, you'll find that you can connect with them on some level," he said. "Instantly, you can have a rapport with somebody and have a little fun."